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Clay Watch Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Clay Watch Special Needs Registry?

The registry is intended to compile and maintain a list of individuals who have “special needs” due to mental or neurological disabilities, and who reside within Clay County. Residents are invited to proactively provide information about any loved one with special needs, regardless of age, who may require special assistance in an emergency situation or interaction with Clay County Sheriff’s Deputies. While identifying information is required, all additional form questions are voluntary and not required. The information you choose to disclose is voluntary. The Special Needs Registry program is completely voluntary. The database also encompasses our former Elder Watch program which includes information for elderly, home-bound persons within the county that we maintain regular contact with to check on their well-being.

Who is eligible?

The registry is developed with the intent to serve all members (adult or juvenile) of our community who have a “special need” and volunteer to register with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. An adult with a disability or condition may enroll himself or herself in a registry. If a person with a disability has been declared incapacitated under chapter 744, a parent or legal guardian of the person may enroll him or her in a registry. An incapacitated adult enrolled by another person must be notified of that enrollment by the local law enforcement agency in writing at his or her address of record within 5 business days after enrollment in a registry.  

At the time of registration, proof of eligibility for enrollment in a registry must be submitted to the local law enforcement agency. The local law enforcement agency may accept any of the following documents for proof of eligibility:

1.  Certification of the disability or condition from a:

a. Physician or physician assistant licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or an advanced practice registered nurse licensed under chapter 464; or

b. Psychologist licensed under chapter 490, a mental health counselor licensed under chapter 491, or a psychiatrist as defined in s. 394.455, if the registration is based on psychological conditions. A minor with a disability or condition may be enrolled in a registry by his or her parent or legal guardian. A minor who was enrolled by another person must be notified by the local law enforcement agency in writing of that enrollment at his or her address of record within 5 business days after he or she reaches 18 years of age.

Documentation of the legal authority for a parent or legal guardian to enroll a child or ward, including, but not limited to, proof of parentage or guardianship, through:

a. A birth certificate as described in s. 382.013;

b. A power of attorney, as defined in s. 709.2102;

c. A court order establishing parental rights or guardianship; or

d. Letters of guardianship as described in s. 744.345.

As soon as I register, will the information be immediately available to responding police officers?

No. The content from the registration form must be entered into our internal Clay County Sheriff’s Office database, and then forwarded to Communications. The process may take up to two (2) weeks to finalize.

Who has access to my family member’s profile?

Clay County Sheriff’s personnel who require this information in the performance of their official duties will have access to the information. This information may be shared with other police agencies during an emergency situation, or if the registered person is missing within another jurisdiction. There are strict regulations with respect to accessing and disseminating this information.

Can I update my profile if there are changes? How do I do that?

Information can be updated anytime it might bring a significant impact on our policing response. Some examples would include a change in address, or change in emergency contact information. Changes can be made by contacting the Clay County Sheriff’s Office Community Affairs unit at, or by submitting a new registration form.

How will this registry help if my family member is missing?

If the registered individual is reported missing by the parent/guardian, our responding deputies have easy access to their information through Clay Watch. Knowing an individual’s special needs (including triggers, stimulants, and de-escalation techniques) greatly assists our deputies in locating your loved one, and safely handling an encounter. If the individual is not reported missing, but otherwise is contacted by our deputies, a computer query of our Special Needs Registry may allow us to quickly identify and reunite you with your loved one.

CEO Judson Sapp and Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook

Judson Sapp hosts Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook to discuss law enforcement issues. From the latest breaking news to cold cases, we answer the questions you have always wanted to ask. Tune in weekly!